Author Topic: MSP's Rain Catchment Project  (Read 30448 times)

d3nni5

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MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« on: June 02, 2014, 09:16:57 AM »

So, I started my rain catchment finally.   I'm utilizing four 55 gallon barrels, and I will take you step by step through my progress.


In their previous life my barrels were used at a car wash.   When I got them, they seemed pretty clean with very little odor.  They were rinsed a couple of times until they passed my "smell test".   Then I filled them with water, added about 1/4 bag of pool shock to each. All have been baking in the sun for several weeks. 

I siphoned out the bleach water, took off both bung caps and aired it out in the sun, while I went to work on the frame.




I'm starting out with the following.....12 blocks (8"x8"x16"), 2 big timbers (6"x6"x8'), 4 posts (4"x4"x6')






I sized things up on the drive, just to make sure they would fit like I expected.  Barrels are about 2' wide and 3' high.  Side by side, all four come in less than 8 feet, happiness, I can work with full nominal lengths, no issues.   At full capacity, I'm figuring 8lbs per gallon, 55 gallons, times 4.....1760 lbs.....or so.    According to what I have found online, the horizontal strength of 6x6's at 8 feet should be well enough to support this weight.









I've picked the area between my house and drive with access to the downspout in the front of the house...






The area is sloped so I have dug in and leveled out the blocks.






I have put everything into place, but not secured anything down yet.   






Offline archer

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 10:16:19 AM »
keep going!

Offline Perfesser

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 10:51:53 AM »

1. If the sun shines on these for any length of time they'll be growing algae and plug up everything. You'll have to cover them or at least paint them.
Better yet, put them in the perpetual shade of the North side - may not be an option for your downspout location.

2. Blocks piled like that have little resistance to shifting, the uphill ones will gradually lean downhill, especially once the water pools and freezes in the mini swale you just dug. Fencepost type vertical post in concrete is a better choice on a slope than a retaining wall type support.   
 
3. It's going to be a pain keeping the grass cut underneath them.

In a case like this I would level a spot right beside the door for the barrels and slope the ground down a little steeper from the corner of the house and make sure runoff flows out and away from the building, not down towards the barrels.
It's probably too late now but by next spring the things I pointed out above will have become obvious.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 11:02:08 AM »
1. If the sun shines on these for any length of time they'll be growing algae and plug up everything. You'll have to cover them or at least paint them.
Better yet, put them in the perpetual shade of the North side - may not be an option for your downspout location.

2. Blocks piled like that have little resistance to shifting, the uphill ones will gradually lean downhill, especially once the water pools and freezes in the mini swale you just dug. Fencepost type vertical post in concrete is a better choice on a slope than a retaining wall type support.   
 
3. It's going to be a pain keeping the grass cut underneath them.

In a case like this I would level a spot right beside the door for the barrels and slope the ground down a little steeper from the corner of the house and make sure runoff flows out and away from the building, not down towards the barrels.
It's probably too late now but by next spring the things I pointed out above will have become obvious.


Good points, that I've thought about

1.)   Plan on building a lattice frame around it for two reasons.  First, for the algae factor.  Second to be decorative.

2.)   I thought about this, thinking of adding a couple of posts to firm it up

3.)   Grass will be killed with RoundUp, and weed barrier put down.


Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 11:13:56 AM »
You might also put 'chocks' between barrels.. JUST in case...


You could make them out of scrap 2x4"

Cedar

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 11:17:30 AM »
Yup,

Chocks will be made with those 4x4 posts,  cut to lengths to fit between the barrels. 

I only had time enough to rough up the framing this weekend.   I will be putting finishing touches on it as the week goes (so long as the weather works in my favor) and then I will start plumbing it up.


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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 11:19:52 AM »
It is looking good. Keep posting pics as you go.

Cedar

endurance

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 11:35:54 AM »
 :popcorn:

Great project, keep posting!

I just picked up a shallow well pump for my water catchment systems (my tanks are below ground) from Harbor Freight for $119, so if you don't get enough pressure, keep something like that in mind.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 12:02:13 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline archer

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 12:58:19 PM »
are you going to put in a first flush diverter?

Offline chad

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2014, 01:14:37 PM »
Looks good...my.02¢... definitely paint, cleaning out algae sucks especially from plugged fittings and drip lines.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 01:38:40 PM »
are you going to put in a first flush diverter?

I haven't thought that far ahead yet.   I already have my diverter from Fiskars...

http://www2.fiskars.com/Shop-Products/Rain-Barrel-Accessories/DiverterPro-Rainwater-Diverter#.U4zNyVSwfGg

But adding another first flush system may be wise, interesting to know if there is a simple DIY design out there, saw some youtube vids using standard PVC with a ping pong ball.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 01:40:52 PM »
Looks good...my.02¢... definitely paint, cleaning out algae sucks especially from plugged fittings and drip lines.

My plan is to box in the whole thing with privacy lattice, to which I will staple black plastic.   This should keep out the sunlight, make it look nice yet be modular enough that I can remove it and expose the system when I need to work on it.

Offline chad

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 01:48:06 PM »
My plan is to box in the whole thing with privacy lattice, to which I will staple black plastic.   This should keep out the sunlight, make it look nice yet be modular enough that I can remove it and expose the system when I need to work on it.


That'll work...

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 02:21:55 PM »
Nice work!  In for updates, as I see one of these systems in my future too.   ;)

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2014, 08:19:01 AM »
I have changed my mind about my base structure.   As you can see I am on a slope with neighbor's on the downhill side of me.  I think the block construction would have been fine, but setting posts is really the safer bet.   I consulted with a couple of my friends who looked it over too.  Lord knows, I don't need to be explaining to my insurance company just why I had to buy my neighbors a new wall, or car or whatnot.  I basically have four 440 lb depth charges waiting to roll into my neighbor's back yard if the foundation were to slip.  Thanks for all the input folks.

So, I bought a few more 6x6 posts, pulled out the blocks and took advantage of a nice cool evening last night and dug my post holes.   They are well below the frost line and I have just temporarily leveled them.   (By the way, if you set posts, the post level is a great purchase, I've used this many times building my pool deck and other assorted projects).

I will cut the 6x6's to height tomorrow, and start roughing out the rest of the structure to make sure everything is going to fit together square.   Once I got it all loosely in place and level again, I'll add some quickcrete to the holes to solidify it and move to the next step.







Offline archer

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2014, 09:03:24 AM »
a good upgrade!

endurance

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2014, 09:57:34 AM »
I was hoping for something like this.  Shucks. :o ;D

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 05:52:03 PM »


I didn't get much done this weekend.   Well, depends on how you look at it.   I did level and set my posts.   I am glad I've changed my mind, and now I have a couple dozen blocks to use on another project (whatever that will be).  Overall it was about an additional $75 in lumber and materials, but worth the piece of mind.

I used an 80lb bag of Sakrete in each hole.



Leveled up the posts and put some temporary braces in place until the concrete set.




Mixed and poured.





Once it set I filled in the rest of the hole with leftover dirt and started to cut the posts to height.




d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2014, 08:09:27 AM »

Last night I finished the posts and horizonal beams.   Nothing is secured yet, but that won't take long.   Tonight I should have the barrels back on and starting my "Lowes List" for PVC, valves and what not.


I created a lap joint (I think :), not a carpenter) so I could rest the beams on top of the posts for more strength.   I cut down 5.5 inches and left a 1.5 inch lip.   This is the same as the nominal thickness of the 2x6's I'll use to support the sides.




I cut the beams to length, overall it is 8 feet long.   Slid them in.



So I'm ready to fasten it on and move on to the fun stuff.


Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2014, 09:03:20 AM »
In the meantime, it is a gymnastic balance beam  ;D

Cedar

endurance

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2014, 09:25:13 AM »
Nice detail work.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2014, 06:23:46 PM »

OK, I have to admit, this is getting a bit pic heavy.   But I want to help out folks who haven't had a chance to do this yet.   The next several posts are going to get into today's work.   

I have loosely plumbed together my rain water catchment system.   Nothing is glued, so I may have some finishing changes.

Before I start posting pictures, I want to point out that the PVC sizes are mostly 2 inch and 3/4 inch sizes.   So, all the bigger pipes you see are 2”, the smaller sizes are 3/4”.

Here we go...

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2014, 06:28:19 PM »

First things first, I joined together the horizontal timbers with the posts.  These are 1/2 by 6 inch (I think) lag bolts.



I drilled some pilot holes and screwed them in....



I may sure up the framing a little more, but I think for the most part this will be strong enough as it sits right now.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2014, 06:30:31 PM »

Next I put up the barrels on the frame and spaced them close to where I need them.



d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2014, 06:34:02 PM »
Here is an overview of the PVC I used.   







d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2014, 06:46:05 PM »
As you see, I have placed the barrels on their side with the bung holes at 12:00 and 6:00 positions.   Each bung in the barrel has different threads.  A corse thread and a fine thread.   I have positioned the top hole with the fine thread, and the bottom hole with the coarse thread.   THIS IS IMPORTANT to my design, as we will see in a few more posts.

The top most bungs (again the fine threads) are the same threads as standard 2” PVC.   So I screwed into each top hold a male 2” thread to female 2” slip coupler.



I added a 2 inch tee, female slip on all three points.   The 2" PVC pipe in between is cut to allow just enough room to snuggly fit the two.



Next, I do the same for all barrells, joining the top run with 2” PVC lengths.



Each of these are about 22 inches in between, but YMMV.   Just have to measure and cut based on your own set up.



d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2014, 06:54:16 PM »
I will be painting and (eventually) encolsing my entire set up.  My buddy Joe had this idea for keeping tabs on how full the barrels were.  A sort of gauge, to show the water's height in the barrels.

Keeping this in mind, I ran an extra tee, this one with a threaded 3/4” connector, to which a placed a barbed 3/4” nylon connector.   

I know this may seem odd now, but keep reading, you'll see where I'm going.



I extended the top run here with this barbed section pointing down.   Trust me, you'll see where I'm going by the end of the thread.  :)


d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2014, 07:02:18 PM »
To finish out the top run of plumbing, I built a vent.   This will allow the system to drain without the “glug, glug, glug” you'd get with no air coming from the top when you turn on the hose bib to use the water.  It is just a couple of 90's with just enough 2” PVC to joing them together.



I took the end cap and cut a 1 1/2” hole.  I used a bladed drill bit, and then my dremel tool to smooth it out.



To keep the bee's out, I added some screen I had laying around.   This is just held in with some Alex Plus caulking.



d3nni5

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Re: MSP's Rain Catchment Project
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2014, 07:17:09 PM »
OK, 

Now that I got the top run of 2” plumbing done, I will move to the bottom section of plumbing.   Remember the top section is what is filling up the barrels.   So, I used the 2” size to allow for as much flow as possible.

The bottom section of plumbing is all 3/4”.   That is because I don't need to drain  as fast as I need to fill the barrels.    This is good for a couple of reasons.   First, the size of a typical garden hose is 1/2 to 3/4 inches.   I don't need to have any more drain flow than that.   Also, as we previously mentioned, the bung holes in these barrels are not threaded the same.   As I note above, THIS IS WHERE IT IS IMPORTANT to position the barrels in the manner I have.

So, here is a close up of the threads so you can see.   The one on the left is the coarse thread that I have at my 6:00 (drain) position.   



What is cool about these coarse threaded bung caps is they also have threading on the top side, as you see here.  As luck would have it, these are precisely 3/4” PVC threading.   Great!   



I can use a 3/4” coupler like this, with a 3/4” female slip connection on the other side to screw into this cap.   All I have to do is drill out the cap and ream it to size.



I drilled out the back side of this bung cap, then used a utility knife to CAREFULLY open the hole to the 3/4” size I need.   You only get one shot here.   Do not ruin the threading as you do this.




After screwing in the above coupler, I hand tightend the bung cap into the bottom hole in the barrel.